Mexico Suspends Detention Of Migrant Children

Published: Thursday, November 12, 2020 - 5:56pm
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Afro Antillean, Afro Central American and African migrants share a place to temporarily live in a shelter in Tapachula, Mexico.

MEXICO CITY — While the crisis of migrant children detained on the border remains in the United States, changes in some immigration laws in Mexico are bringing new hopes for human rights supporters, as underaged migrants will not be held in custody any more. Mexico’s immigration law is now prohibiting the holding of migrant children in detention centers.

Children also will have their legal status provisionally recognized to avoid the risk of immediate deportation before seeking protective status. 

The changes also shift responsibility for housing child migrants and their families to the country’s family development agency and away from the National Immigration Institute.

Several human rights organizations applauded the reforms, including the United Nations.

In 2019, Mexico detained more child migrants than ever before, partially as a result of pressure coming from Washington to stop the arrival of Central American migrants to the U.S.

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